Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1285 ..
MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Thank you very much for that direct, clear and concise answer, Mr Osborne.
MR SPEAKER: No preamble.
MS TUCKER: In the newspaper this morning I noticed some concern that you were focusing more on sexually explicit material. Is it the case that you are in fact equally concerned about violent material?
MR OSBORNE: I thank Ms Tucker for that very pertinent question. I have to admit, Ms Tucker, that my initial reason behind this was the sexual side of it, but I am more than open to some input from people about the violence. The letter in the paper was about gun magazines and the violence depicted on their front pages, and I am more than happy to accommodate people's concerns about violence in the magazines. It is a very relevant issue at the moment.
MR WOOD: My question is to Mr De Domenico, since he is responsible for the TAB. Has the Government accepted the policies of the H.R. Nicholls Society and is it now moving to require all ACT Government workers to sign individual contracts? If this is not the case, why is it that after the close of business tonight ACTTAB may be demanding that some of its employees sign individual contracts? I think there has been some media publicity about this today, and I am sure that the Minister will want the workers in the TAB to be treated the same as workers elsewhere in the ACT.
MR DE DOMENICO: I thank Mr Wood for his question. It is true that an enterprise bargaining agreement has been negotiated over the past two months. I am also advised that broad agreement has been reached between the parties, except for two minor issues relating only to casual staff. Those two issues are an increase for Sundays and public holidays above the $29.64 per hour, which ACTTAB wished to have quarantined, and the introduction of a skill-based banding structure for new employees only, and I stress that. It should be noted that this will apply only to existing staff, who will be paid at the highest rate in the structure. ACTTAB hopes to have these minor issues resolved in the near future. I am aware that Prime, I think it is, has a story. I also point out that the Industrial Relations Commission has been advised and, obviously, if those two minor points cannot be settled by the two parties the umpire will decide.
MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I thank the Minister for his answer. I am pleased with his assurance that there is not a cut-off point and a total demand tonight. I am concerned that he said "only casual staff". I think casual staff are no less important than anybody else. Will he give me that assurance?